Welcome to Mellie's mind...

Where thoughts can be funny, can race at all hours of the day and night and can sometimes not make any sense!

Enjoy the ride!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sugar is killing US!

sug·ar  (shgr)
1. A sweet crystalline or powdered substance, white when pure, consisting of sucrose obtained mainly from sugar cane and sugar beets and used in many foods, drinks, and medicines to improve their taste. Also called table sugar.
2. Any of a class of water-soluble crystalline carbohydrates, including sucrose and lactose, having a characteristically sweet taste and classified as monosaccharide, disaccharides, and disaccharides.
3. A unit, such as a lump or cube, in which sugar is dispensed or taken.
4. Slang Sweetheart. Used as a term of endearment.

Number 4 is the only time you should REALLY be using sugar in your life!!!!!!  (Smile)

When I think back to being a child growing up with my mother and another family who raised me my latter part of my younger years I think back to the way sugar was a part of my life.  

I would eat sugar all the time.  It was not uncommon for me and my friends to walk down to the local store daily during the summer to go buy candy.  When I lived with my mother the house always had some kind of pop in the fridge, sometimes there was no food, but there was always pop! I remember on paydays my mother would take us to the Pop Shoppe and each one of us three kids would be able to pick out a case of our favorite flavors... a case!  There would be days when I would live on peanut butter and jelly or some days I would put sugar on white bread and eat that!  (Can you imagine...dipping my bread in sugar and then eating it)  

Later when I was 12 I moved in with a family who took care of me for about 4 years.  In this family we ate dinner everyday, I was blessed not to have to skip meals in this household but we did eat a lot of foods that were high in sugar as well.  Cookies pop, chips, cereal the cupboards were never bare and the mom made sure all of us three kids had our favorite foods.  During my first summer there my friend and I would stay up late talking and in the middle of the night we would go make Totino's microwavable pizzas.  When were were done we would each grab a handful of Chips Ahoy cookies and a glass of milk as well.  No one was ever concerned or thought twice about what we were eating.  Once in awhile the mom would go on a diet, and suggest to my friend that she start watching what she was eating, but it wasn't something that lasted too long.

The other day I was reading about sugar and the Chapter was called:  You ARE a Sugar Addict.  I remember as I turned the page and saw this chapter title, I thought to myself... "No, I am not."  Me, a sugar addict?  Are you kidding... I watch what I eat. I do splurge on dessert once in awhile, but for the most part I am not a sugar addict.  What I did not realize is how dominant sugar is in our society and foods.  It is not just about a pop tart or a sugar coated cereal, it is about an epidemic that is taking over our country and our bodies.

Sugar has zero nutritional value, it weakens your immune system and it throws off your metabolic functions and can be highly addictive.  Sugar is one of the most damaging ingredients in the American diet and it is making us all fat and sick.

Did you know the average American downs 30 teaspoons of added sugar daily?  That's about 480 nutritionally empty calories of added sugar every day.  Refined white sugar is technically sucrose, or common table sugar.  The other sugars you need to be aware of include dextrose (corn sugar), fructose (fruit sugar), maltose (malt sugar), and lactose (milk sugar).

You sometimes hear sugar as being advertised as "natural" food because it is made from natural ingredients in sugarcane and sugar beets.  The majority of people think this means healthy.  BUT 90% of the original source (sugarcane or sugar beets) has been removed and the natural color of sugar is chemically bleached to make it white.  What do you have left?  White sugar stripped of all its minerals and vitamins.  Does this sound healthy to you?  When you digest sugar into your system, the body has to actually borrow from its stores of nutrients in order to process it.  Sugar literally eats up the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.

When you eat refined sugar it goes straight into your intestines, bypassing any chemical breakdown in your body.  From there it is absorbed right into your blood stream and your glucose levels spike.  Your brain registers this sugar hit with a drug like reaction and triggers the release of the same natural brain opiods released when shooting Heroin.  All this creates positive feelings, energy and euphoria. 

When your body is addicted to sugar it needs more to feel better and your life and cravings can start forming around this addition.  Remember, sugar is not just candy, cakes and pop, it is also carbohydrates that are quickly converted into sugar such as bagels, rolls, crackers, breads and many more.

When you are on sugar the brain signals insulin to rush in and hold down the sugar. The adrenal glands have to step in to release fat-PRODUCING cortisol to get your glucose levels back up.  

Had enough.. Think it can't get any worse from here..... It does!

Sugar gives you wrinkles:

Sugar makes you fat and it ages your skin and can cause wrinkles.  Eating sugar attacks the collagen and elastin, which are the two key proteins that keep our skin young looking. 

Sugar kills your immune system:

Neutrophils are white blood cells that destroy bacteria in our bodies.  Sugar can cripple neutrophils leaving us more vulnerable to colds, flu and infections.  Sugar is linked to even chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.

Sugar makes you stupid:

Researches now report that people who have even slightly elevated blood sugar concentrations have short term memory loss.  (ding, ding, ding... that is me!)  Scientist think that high-sugar diets disturb blood sugar metabolism.  When our blood sugar is out of whack, or you have trouble metabolizing the sugar, this SHRINKS memory areas of the brain. 

Had enough yet????? Think it can't get any worse then I have described above?????  Have a seat and hold on... this next one is going to be a hell of a ride.


We all have cells in our bodies that under favorable conditions, COULD mutate into CANCER at anytime.  One of those conditions is a high sugar diet.  Cancer cells multiply rapidly, the process requires energy.  To get enough energy cancer cells supercharge themselves with glucose.
  • Sugar makes tumors grow.  
  • Cancer cells have 6-10 times the number of insulin receptors-molecules that grab on to the hormone-as any other normal cell.  
  • Insulin stimulates cell growth.
  • Sugar raises your insulin levels.
See the connection?  If extra insulin hits a preexisting cancer cell, it makes a bad thing DEADLY.  For cancer, insulin is like pouring gasoline on a fire.

Cancer is a painful disease and I hear chemo is something you should want to avoid in life at all costs.  Chemo harms your body, and studies show you never fully recover from it.

Sugar is cleverly hidden in virtually everything we eat, ESPECIALLY packaged and processed foods.  From breads, crackers, soups, sauces low fat foods and diet foods.  Breakfast cereals are the worst.  An example would be if you start your day off with a cup of Raisin bran, you have just ingested 20 grams of sugar.  Packaged hot cereal, like Quaker instant oatmeal, 13 grams of sugar-almost all of it table sugar.  The bagel you grab in the morning, unless you are choosing whole wheat or multigrain, you bagel has essentially has 30 grams of sugar.  That's the same amount as in one piece of chocolate cake.

Sugar hides in food under clever names like beet sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, confectioners' sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, invert sugar, lactose, maltodextrin, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, sucrose, and turbinado sugar.  These sugars are in everything from protein bars and shakes, to breads and dairy. 

Armed with this information I went into my fridge and my pantry and started looking at the ingredients of the products my family consumes.  I almost had a panic attack.  Here I was, thinking my family was on the right track and I was doing so well and what I found was sugar, sugar, sugar... everywhere.  My personality is to start disposing of it all, almost as if having the item in my house was going to cause my family cancer.. I had to get it out!!!!! But I continued to read and do some research and have learned that if I just eat only foods that have 5 grams of sugar or less then I would be on the right track.

I also learned that "diet" products have high sugars in them as well.  One of my mentors when I first started my getting healthy journey use to tell me I had to buy clean protein, because most proteins contain high sugar. (Max Muscle products do not)  When I started looking around at the store at diet products I was amazed at how many bars, shakes, meals were loaded in sugar.  No wonder people struggle so hard. 

  • Ravioli Florentine by Weight Watchers:  12 grams of sugar.
  • South beach Chocolate breakfast bar:    7 g sugars, 3g sugar alcohol
  • Kellogg's special K protein bars:  17 grams of sugar
  • Lean Cuisine Grilled Chicken & Penne Pasta  24 grams of sugar.
  1. Get rid of sugar free juices, sodas, and treats.  These items cause sugar cravings and sugar cravings trigger your brain to grab for chips and other junk foods!
  2. Don't put sugar in your clean products like water, tea or coffee.
  3. Clean out your fridge and pantry of simple sugar items such as candy, cookies, cakes, pies, soda, and fat free products.
  4. Buy apples, pears, berries and citrus fruits.
  5. Drink lots of water.  A craving is often a sign of dehydration, not a cry for food.  Buy a BPA Free water bottle and carry it everywhere with you!
  6. Cut back on caffeine or get rid of it all together.  Caffeine causes your drop in blood sugar and leads to fat storing.  Try herbal tea or limit your caffeine to only two cups per day.
Please, if you are on a diet or on the road to a lifestyle change or just looking to see how you can be healthier... start with your sugar intake.  Sugar is killing us.. and if you are reading this blog, you are someone I know and care about and want to help.  Read your labels, throw out the sugar infested items in your pantry, and find alternative whole foods to eat and to feed your family and save yourself and the ones you love too.

If you need help with food ideas, ways to get rid of sugar or just want to have someone in your corner.... I am here!

Peace to all of you and "sweet" dreams only. 



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